Thursday, October 30, 2014

Oh Behave!

     Animal behavior is really interesting, mostly because it's interesting to watch, but more so, decoding what the animal is thinking and what their goal and motivation is with that behavior is really rewarding. Sometimes you think you're familiar with an animals' repertoire and what they do, but sometimes they surprise you with something you have never seen or read about before, which makes it even more fun.
     Animals in the city are not nearly as shy as the same ones I encounter in the suburbs or in rural areas. So sometimes it is surprising how close they will carry on their normal behavior, even the smallest little creatures, without, what appears as, much worry.
     I took a walk in Green-Wood Cemetery today and had some great bird behavior to observe. My walking motivation was my great grandparents who are buried there. My mother and I visited my grandmother last week, and we spoke about the location of my great grandparents on my father's side, and how my Gma would go there and make my uncle prune the bush planted in front of the headstone. I figured I'd find their burial site and bird along the way and back and also send some photos so Gma can see them, since she probably will not be trekking around Green-Wood anytime soon.
     It was a gorgeous crisp day, with lots to take in, enjoy!
The welcoming committee, the quakers.
I tried a filter thingy. I don't know if I like it.
White throated sparrow.
A golden crowned kinglet. This bird is literally the size of a McDonald's nugget, but had the bravery of something much larger. Approached very close!
I do love his side-swept crown. If I could pick him up, I'd gently smooth it back for him and then let him go on his way.
I'm always amazed by bird legs. Hollow bones make up those spindly things that hold up this little creature that probably weights a couple of grams - like 4, maybe.
Full Autumn Glory.
Juvenile Cooper's Hawk
     I found a great blue heron on the Valley Water. This heron in particular seemed to have an identity crisis as it would get into the water, appearing more cormorant-like than heron. It would then grab a fish and then go back to it's raft. I watched him do this a few times. I'm not sure if he is walking along the bottom of the pond, not sure of it's depth, but there is probably enough roots and shoots to walk over from the lilies. He was successful in catching food twice while I watched.

Song sparrow with an angelic glow.
Same heron took a tree up to roost and rest in.
Pretty sure this is a swamp sparrow. If the lines were more crisp and clean, then I'd say Lincoln's, but I'm sticking with swamp.
And the quakers are there to wish you safe travels before you leave.

Great Grandpa Orlando and Great Grandma Frances, who passed right before I was born. Next time I'll bring scissors to prune that juniper bush.